back to article Veteran researchers: Cheapo US biz R&D risks innovation FAIL

The US has a problem: basic scientific research is underfunded, as is support for the work needed to translate basic research into marketable products. As a result, the US is in danger of falling behind its global technology competitors. Such was the conclusion of a panel of past and present research luminaries gathered for the …

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Gimp

Never mind..

I'm sure there is plenty of money left for the real important stuff..

Rounded corners, innovative uses for social networking in blindingly obvious ways, toast etc.

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Windows

Best Practice Cowards

In today's world it has become 'best practice' to pursue profit at the expense of everything else. Everybody wants to be good at budgeting but all they can do is make cuts. There are high and mighty proponents of capitalism and modern economists creating tomes expounding on the virtues of 'proving' something is viable before even experimenting. There are brilliant scientists who aren't allowed to explore strange ideas because 'there's no money in it'. Scientists who are spreadsheet savvy get the jobs and steer research even further away from exploration. It is all a bunch of shit.

Too much science has become incremental: Minor improvements on technologies that by and large were founded 60+ years ago. There is so little new and it is the fault of every person who has ever said "There's no money in (x)". Science does not begin in a laboratory or on a spreadsheet. Science begins with an idea and it is the responsibility of every right minded person to do their part to encourage those ideas, even if they cost money and have no direct financial reward. Fear of losing a dollar is a poor excuse for failing to explore. It is the realm of cowards.

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Happy

Re: Best Practice Cowards

This is a first for me to post only for praise, I have no rhetoric to offer, very well worded.

P.S. Do you also do resumes? :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Best Practice Cowards @Don Jefe

How are you helping to advance science then? After such a melodramatic rant, what are you giving up that science and humanity may benefit? Turned down pay rises? Moved into a lower-valued home and given the difference to some research charity? Or are you running folding@home and using that as your justification for being a supercilous arse? Because, you know, the spare cycles I donate still cost me money?

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Re: Best Practice Cowards

Yup, this quarter's R&D won't make a profit next quarter for the stockholders, so it's canned.

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Thumb Down

Re: Best Practice Cowards

It was impossible to notice that a few employers I worked for wanted everyone to produce new patents -- but NO ONE to stop working on other things. It got so tight in recent years that design engineers were subject to lower annual ratings if they went over the hours forecast by unrealistic management. Worse, I've seen "Quality" defined in one firm's corporate documents as "following all written procedures.

But you can't develop *new* products, let alone do research, with Lean Six Sigma process control.

IMO.

Gospodin Dostoyevsky, You are (again) late with the currently due chapter of Crime and Punishment. You will not be paid for any work submitted until you are completely caught up! Get to work -- or see how you like living on groats.

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Anonymous Coward

doing it right for over a thousand years

"If you look at the top universities worldwide, 18 out of 20 are in the United States, and the two that aren't, I'm not sure how they got there in England,"

If you look at the top two universities worldwide, both of them are in England ..

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Unhappy

More corporate greed

Reading this article which states that R & D budgets are shrinking in a time of all time record profits by US corporations. It seems that corporations are so insanely crazed for quick money that they have lost their sense of reality.

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Gold badge

Indeed...

Companies generally look about 1 year ahead, possibly as long as 5. R&D, the "R" has indefinite payout, and the "D" costs a bit too. I mean, IBM got billions from the GMR (Giant Magento Resistive) hard drive head, and all companies (well, now down to like 3 HD companies...) use these under license and have for about 10 or 15 years. But, it took years of R&D to develop. This head takes advantage of a quantum effect, an insulating layer is put into the head, and these electrons that tunnel through effectively make this insulater act as a bit of an amplifier instead. in the current environment of minimal R&D, it would never have been developed.

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Devil

Redirect "Arts" funding to science!

I can solve two social problems with one blow: spend Arts budgets on Science instead. Good research gets funded, and we're spared the horror of public art projects.

Sorted!

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Flame

Re: Redirect "Arts" funding to science!

I completely agree with you, except change "arts" to "military" and "public art projects" to "war." Along the way, science can pick up several orders of magnitude more funding as opposed to the utter pittance supplied to the arts.

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